, Volume 35, Issue 2, pp 584-593
Date: 26 May 2011

Vascular Protective Role of Vitexicarpin Isolated from Vitex rotundifolia in Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells

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Pro-inflammatory cytokines induce injury of endothelial cells caused by increases of adhesion molecules, leading to vascular inflammation and the development of atherosclerosis. Recent pharmacological studies have demonstrated that vitexicarpin, a flavonoid isolated from Vitex rotundifolia, has anti-inflammatory, antitumor, and analgesic properties. In this study, we investigated whether vitexicarpin (5–100 nM) prevented the TNF-α-induced vascular inflammation process in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC). We found that pretreatment with vitexicarpin decreased TNF-α (10 ng/ml)-induced expression of cell adhesion molecules such as vascular cell adhesion molecule-1, intracellular adhesion molecule-1, and E-selectin as well as matrix metalloproteinase-2 and -9 expression. Preincubation with vitexicarpin also dose-dependently inhibited TNF-α-induced adhesion of HL-60 monocytic cells. Vitexicarpin significantly decreased TNF-α-induced intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. Furthermore, vitexicarpin suppressed NF-κB nuclear translocation and transcriptional activity in TNF-α-treated HUVEC. In conclusion, vitexicarpin significantly reduced vascular inflammation, through inhibition of ROS–NF-κB pathway in vascular endothelial cells.